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The Past, Present, and Future of Easter Island

May 18, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Tiny Easter Island (Rapa Nui) in a remote area of the southwestern Pacific is known for prehistoric people who constructed nearly 1,000 massive statues, called moai. While researchers have begun to unravel the past mysteries of this island, few people know about the descendants of the moai carvers and the role individuals have played to ensure the future of the island’s archaeological record and its viability as a sustainable community.

Sergio Rapu and his son, Sergio Mata’u Rapu, offer a glimpse into the transformation of Easter Island, Chile (Rapa Nui) from a remote village island to a major international tourist destination. Sergio Rapu, an archaeologist and the first native governor of the island, has spent a lifetime working to expand our knowledge of this spectacular location as well as its political and economic existence. His filmmaker son has created a documentary (Eating Up Easter) about efforts to make the island sustainable in the face of rapid economic development.

Together they will present a brief lecture on their efforts to meet the challenges of this remarkable island. Eating Up Easter provides an intimate look at the actions the Rapanui people are taking to face the consequences of their rapidly developing island. Ultimately, the islanders will have to ask themselves difficult questions: Can sustainability and profitability exist together? Can they embrace new technology and guide development without losing who they are as Rapanui?


May 18, 2017
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:



Support provided by the general operations support grants from the United Cultural Fund, a program of the Broome County Arts Council; the Conrad and Virginia Klee Foundation; the Zoos, Botanical Gardens and Aquariums Program, administered by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreational, and Historical Preservation; and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.